Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Exploring Google context search to discover primary sources

Posted on: June 19, 2012

How can appropriate search terms and queries guide targeted searches?  

An intermediate  level instructional activity in Google’s Literacy lessons addresses the guiding question.   Teachers and media specialists who want their students to use primary sources and use Google to find them will love this lesson.   Activities involve identifying unique features of primary sources and  identifying context terms. Students are asked to examine 4 unique primary source documents from the 1960’s Civil Rights movement (letter, map, arrest warrant and house roll call vote) to discover key words and phrases activity.  Another cool part of the activity is visualizing primary source formats. Think map, letter, diary, diagram, certificate, etc.   Next, students apply context term searching to locate those same primary source documents.   Try searching Google using these words:   Roosevelt letter DAR? Did your search bring you to the National archives.   All four primary source documents are included in the lesson resources and can be printed out for ease of use or viewed as a whole class  activity.    The lesson supports inquiry and applying search strategies.   A Google A Day activity concludes the fun.

Picking the Right Search Term: Intermediate Lesson 1

Learn more about teaching information and technology literacy and engaging, critical thinking activities for students in an online course. Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources .

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